Biography of Christopher Bollas, PhD
Director of Education, Community West
Christopher Bollas graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a degree in history. He studied intellectual history with Carl Schorske, American history with Kenneth Stampp, political theory with Sheldon Wolin, and psychoanalytical studies with Frederick Crews and Alan Dundes. He gained a PhD at the University of Buffalo in English literature where he studied with Norman Holland, Leslie Fiedler, Rene Girard, Michel Foucault, Robert Hass, and Angus Fletcher.
He has been visiting lecturer at the University of Buffalo, the University of East Anglia, Brunel University and was Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts from 1983-87.
He trained in psychoanalysis at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London and in Adult Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic in London. He has been Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis at the University of Rome from 1978-1999.
His first book The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known was published in 1987 and his most recent work Meaning and Melancholia: Life in the Age of Bewilderment was published in 2018 (Routlegde). He is the author of many works of nonfiction, three novels, and five plays. His works have been published in Swedish, Danish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Turkish, Romanian, Ukranian, and Serbian.
Two books have been written on his work: The Vitality of Objects: Exploring the Work of Christopher Bollas edited by Joseph Scalia (Continuum, Wesleyan, 2002) and The Metapsychology of Christopher Bollas: An Introduction by Sarah Nettleton (Routledge, 2016).
He has been described by The Townsend Center (UC-Berkeley) in 2016 as “the most influential psychoanalyst writing in English today”, by Al-Haaretz in 2010 as “one of the two most important living theoreticians in the world of psychoanalysis” and by Adam Phillips as “the most evocative psychoanalytic writer we have”.